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Hi, I am new to this site.
Please can someone inform me how to actually post something on here, like "Hi, i'm new ....".
Welcome to the forum,glad you have found us it would be good if you could say what type of Arthritis you have then we can give advice and information.
the forums are very friendly so just choose a forum and start chatting. The most popular are Living with Arthritis, Chit Chat and Vals café.
All the best Christine
I think you have already made a great start at introducing yourself 😃
Do join in with Comments or by starting a New Discussion anywhere in the Online Community: best bet is to dive right in and not worry - we all started in just the same way!
Hi, I am Michaela,.
I am new to this site. I have sought this group, for support from people that understand what it's like to have arthritis (those that suffer from it daily). I am also looking to find ways to slow down the disease and try to live a pain free, reduced inflammation life, for as long as i possibly can.
I am guessing what type of arthritis I have at the moment, because no consultant has informed me as to what type I have. I am also thinking I might have more than one (if that's possible). I have problems and symptoms with my knees, etc. for more than 25 years now.
I am 55 yrs old. I was a Nurse, up until November 2019. Currently doing an Administrative job in St George's Hospital. I have been living in London, my whole life (except when I lived in Brazil for 6 months : ) ). I have not been physically active for this year due to immense pain, difficulty walking, and having an operation on one of my knee. I still have a lot of energy and find it frustrating that I cannot do all the activities I want to, presently.
I was very active and sporty throughout my childhood, teens, 20's and 30's. I was exercising and playing impact sports (minimum once a day. Often twice a day). I did a lot of IMPACT sports, practically every day. I first noticed when I was 21 yrs old and had returned from my lunch break, after I went swimming, that something had pinged in one of my knees when I bent down to file something. The next morning, I had my first swollen, painful knee, that lasted 2 weeks. I think it happened again in my late 20's, after I had gone jogging. Then, when I was about 31, I was in Tottenham Court Road, crossing a road, and one of my knees locked. I hobbled to get across the rest of the road, and waited for a Taxi to pass by. I got myself to Guy's & St Thomas, where they did an X-ray, and put the longest needle I had ever seen into my knee to extract the fluid from my swollen knee. I was told, this had to be done to ensure I did not have an infection. The Doctor asked me some questions, and found out that I was doing 'impact sports, and instructed me to NEVER do them again, as I may have the beginnings of arthritis. It took about 18 months, before I could fully let go of the impact sports I loved so much. I used to go for the burn. Unknown to me, I was addicted to exercise/sports, and when I stopped them, I become very depressed, and put on weight for the first time in my life.
I eventually got used to only walking, cycling, and swimming (front crawl only), as instructed by the Doctor at Guys & Thomas. However, I could not stop dancing. I loved House music and UK Garage, and Samba. I would dance very fast and furiously. : ) Loved it.
Then, in 2002 I developed severe pain in my left toe joint, which became worse over time. I thought it was due to all the vigorous dancing and sports that I had done over the years. I was informed by a Consultant at Whipps Cross, that I had Hyper Joint Mobility (double jointed). She announced this to me after getting me to bend my legs upwards, whilst I sat with my thighs remaining on the floor. I did not know I was double jointed up to this point in my life. She said this was a form of arthritis.
Then in 2012 I had my first operation, a hemi-implant (a toe joint replacement). I had been limping at work (as a Ward Nurse at Charing Cross Hospital) for 2 years prior to this operation. This toe/foot continually aches.
My knees continued to be painful also, but I managed. However, I fluctuated with my weight especially whilst Nursing. I had a few episodes of Bakers Cysts from 2016. Then, most recently during Covid, my knee locked in February. Prior to this, I had had a few years of very painful knee joints during the winter months. However, before the end of 2019, I realised I could no longer do my Nursing (being on my feet for 12/13 hour shifts, regularly not sitting down throughout). I found myself a secretarial job at St George's Hospital, to give my knees a break. But in February 2020, my left knee locked and I had to walk on crutches for 2 .5 months, getting to work before the lockdown. Both my knees (but especially my left) were in severe pain. I did not sleep properly for 6 months until I had my operation. in March, I had my first MRI scans to both knees. There was various problems with both knees, degeneration, Bakers cysts in both, and torn meniscus to both (the left being deeply torn). I had to wait till August to have an Arthroscopy operation to repair the deeply torn meniscus in the left knee. This is when i received my official diagnosis, that I had arthritis. Written on my discharge summary, it stated, "Arthritis: Confirmed". I was relieved to at last have a diagnosis but was very upset. Furthermore, this was an anxious time, Covid. However, no one has yet confirmed what arthritis I have. And, now i have been waking up for the last four months with swollen achy hands, knuckles, wrists etc. I have no strength in them now. I cannot open jars, or bottle tops, or use a can opener, or get my clothes on without a struggle and a lot of tears.
I am still waiting for my follow up with the Consultant that performed my Arthroscopy in August (2020). I will be seeing them (I hope) in December, when I can show them my hands etc. i suspect that I have osetoarthritis in my knees, and rhematoid arthritis in my hands (all undiagnosed).
I have found this to be very depressing, and I can't imagine living with this progressing. I have lived my entire life independently and cannot ever imagine a time, when I cannot do anything for myself.
Because I have had no support or information regarding my Arthritis, I am now seeking support groups. I want to be able to find ways to slow this disease down, and put off being crippled by it for as long as possible. I am seeking treatments, and I have been looking at what I can do diet wise to reduce inflammation, and pain (ibuprofen and paracetamol which I have been taken together since Feb is just not cutting it). I have lost weight to help my knees. I take ginger. I hate the taste of Turmeric (will try using turmeric capsules). I have not exercised for some time, due to the agony I have been in, basically throughout the entire year.
Anyway, that's me. Michaela
ps. I have just realised how long this is. It's like a biography. Apologies. LOL! It felt like a conversational in a church. Had to get it off my chest, so to speak.
pps. I have not read this through, hence, apologies for any typos. : )
What a story!!
You told it very well and it makes for quite upsetting reading I want to give you a virus fee and very socially distanced hug ((()))
You have lived a very very full life for 55 haven't you? I imagine being trapped inside after your operation and with COVID will have been extra tough on you.
Have you read this?
If you haven't it makes for very interesting reading and explains a lot of what you detail.
If you didn't want to wait until December to show someone your hands you could see your GP as they will want to do bloods and a rheumatologist is the person to see for suspected Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medications for the inflammatory types (such as RA) are quite different to those for Osteoarthritis (OA) as you probably know.
As for keeping active have a look at the 'let's move' section on here. You may struggle, but should still be able to join in a bit.
If it's support you are after you have come to the right place this is a friendly and supportive community we do our best to help each other with tips and advice to make life easier.
Take care and keep posting - it helps.
Thank you for responding to my post. I didn't realise until after i wrote it, how long it was. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Also, i appreciate your advice and for reaching out. Social distancing permitting : ) I am a big advocate for, laughing through tears.
I have been looking online regarding the anti-inflammatory foods i should eat and not eat. Bascially, going back to 'Eat it, if God made it. Don't eat it, if man made'. Functional Medicine. So fresh, plant based foods, and no processed, dairy, sugar foods etc.
I didn't have any strength leading up to my knee op in Aug, and with all the pain and limited range of movement i put off physical exercise. But i am now determined to start getting active again. I need to build muscle (lost quite a bit), and keep things moving. Hoping to do this at my gym near by, or online. I will check out the link and here for exercise etc. My goal is to be able to ride a bike around my local park before December. That would be a good feeling.
ps. What type of arthritis do you have, and what has worked for you?
Thank you again.
Hi @Michaela1 that is some story - many thanks for posting it 👍️
@frogmorton has already given you a good link regarding hypermobility and also mentioned the Let's Move category. Here is a link to the section of the web site regarding diet:
The subject can be a bit of a minefield with many potions and cure-all foods promoted online. It's always worth asking questions about anything that seems to be too good to be true.
Do keep posting: questions, triumphs, tough days, chatting: having a place where you can unload strong feelings and say what's good or bad about your day to people who know what it's all like is a real benefit 😃
You are so positive - it's a tonic to read your post, thank you. I'm doing the exercises with Leon - look in Living With Arthritis, then look for Let's move and then Let's move with Leon. He is releasing exercises each week and there's a group of us doing what we can, as long as you are exercising come and take a look.
I've got osteoarthritis in most joints, and I've had a new knee, Daisy, and she is doing very well, she is much better than left knee now 😊
I have Inflammatory and Osteoarthritis so know a bit(!) about both🙂 In some respects there are a lot of similarities to be fair.
I find the inflammatory (started out being called palindromic rheumatism then RA although i Have never had a positive RFactor blood test to my knowledge) flares up and can be dreadful for weeks (even months but usually weeks) at a time. I feel 'ill' with it, run a temperature sicky feeling ludicrously tired and joints seize.
With the OA it's pretty consistently painful.
Painkillers and anti inflammatories prescribed for both but DMARDS Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs for the inflammatory type. On the subject of meds if you are needing to take anti-inflams (Ibuprofen ?) it might be worth a word with your GP about something to protect your stomach. They are called PPIs (hah!) Proton Pump inhibitors I think it stands for and they line your stomach as anti-inflams can be very hard and damage your stomach over time.
I have been vegetarian for decades, but transitioned to vegan (so ditched the dairy) this veganuary. I believe VA support the mediterranean style diet which suits me like you are opting for. Lots of fresh veg and fruit. Doing my best to avoid anything processed.
That bike ride you are aiming for? I reckon you'll do it even if you join the bike at the park🚲️!!!
Keep posting, keep talking and keep asking. Above all be kind to yourself ((()))